The legendary long-distance athlete and investment tycoon, Haile Gebresilassie, said that he is still waiting for the approval of the Addis Ababa City Administration cabinet to secure a plot of land he requested to build an assembly plant for the Korean vehicle brand Hyundai in the southwestern outskirts of Addis Ababa.
However, sources told The Reporter that the city cabinet had a meeting last week where it evaluated Haile’s request for land but rejected it because the requested land size is too large in view of the current shortage of investment land. However, sources further said that the cabinet is still planning to reconsider provided that Haile is willing to reduce size of the plot considerably.
However, Haile said that the plot has not yet been confirmed by the city formally.
Haile had requested some 70 hectares of land for the car assembly originally. On his part, Haile told The Reporter that he recognizes the need to reduce it to 30 hectares. “I understand the problems in investment land shortage which the administration is feeling in recent times”.
He also told The Reporter that he applied for the plot almost two years ago. He said that his plan was to build the plant and begin assembly operation immediately.
He also said that the Korean carmaker’s board reapproved Haile’s car assembly plant to manufacture the vehicle in Ethiopia recently.
He also said his company’s engineers were sent to Korea to received practical training in Hyundai’s factory.
The two clubs ran out of time on deadline day to find an agreement for the Belgian.
“At times football is like this. These things happen in life," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Am I angry at the failed move? No, I'm disappointed. I had done the medical and at that point already felt like a Juventus player in every sense."
He also told Tuttosport: “It's disappointing that Zenit made that decision, especially as turning down €25m can be damaging. I, however, can only thank Juventus, as they showed such class with me and did everything they could to sign me.
“It was a strange incident, but I learned Zenit's decision much earlier than the transfer deadline. I then returned to Brussels, where I arrived at 3am just before the match against Spain.
“My destiny was with the Bianconeri, that's how I felt. Now I mustn't think about it anymore. I must remain concentrated, as I am a professional.
“At the end of the day the Liverpool directors admitted Klopp was unfair," Raiola told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I won't judge him as a Coach, even if for me he isn't a great tactician, but I don't think he realised we were talking about a person. Mario was exemplary, he never complained even when training alone.
“It's not enough to say Klopp was unfair: he was a piece of ****"
Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi facing lengthy UEFA ban Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi is facing a UEFA ban.
Both De Rossi and Emerson Palmieri were sent off for straight red cards during the 3-0 Champions League play-off defeat to Porto.
De Rossi's foul was considered more dangerous, having forced Maxi Pereira to undergo surgery with a two-month lay-off.
As he was also the captain in that game, De Rossi will be handed a three-match ban by UEFA.
Emerson Palmieri receives a two-game suspension and both will have to be implemented in the Europa League.
Francesco Totti hopes for 'special final season' with Roma Francesco Totti hopes for a "special season" this term at Roma.
Totti will hang up his boots at the end of the current campaign.
“25 years full of victories, defeats, goals, joy and disappointments," Totti began on his official website.
“I've experienced so many emotions in these years that it's really difficult to do a ranking of the most intense. What's certain is that my desire to wear this shirt and to give and experience emotions is still in tact.
“As if no time had passed at all, I will face this 25th season with determination and desire, certain that this squad will give their best to give our fans the satisfaction they deserve.
“Over these years I've always strongly felt the affection, love and passion of this city, the Roma fans and also those who have supported me in Italy and abroad. Real feelings which helped me feel even prouder of these colours which I have the honour of wearing.
“My 25th professional season in the Roma shirt will coincide with an important milestone in my life: 40-years-old in a little over a month.
“I wait for important challenges and new prospects, ready to share them with those who have always loved and supported me.
“I want it to be a special season, for me and for the fans, both on and off the pitch."
The Ethiopian swimmer who sparked an online uproar online for his looks and disappointing result in Rio, Robel Kiros, said that he has started collecting funds online via GoFundMe.com to build sporting facilities in his country. He said he started the online crowd funding activity but so far he has managed to secure a mere 30 Pounds and he plans to hit 1 Million Pound.
Robel Kiros added he will talk to business people when he gets back to Ethiopia to secure more funds for his planned project. Hahu News learnt he has also build a website for the foundation, RobelTheWhaleFoundation
From left: Sisters Ejegayehu, Genzebe, and Tirunesh Dibaba, all wearing Nike, and their cousin Derartu Tulu, in Adidas. Genzebe is expected to win gold in Rio, while the other three are already Olympic medalists.
Ethiopia is a running-mad country—but it’s never seen anything like the Dibabas. Chloe Malle heads to Addis Ababa to meet the fastest family on the planet.
The only sound at the top of the Entoto Mountains is the thwack of a cowherd’s staff against the tree trunks as he leads his small herd of oxen home. I am doing my best to keep pace with Tirunesh Dibaba, 30, and her younger sister, Genzebe, 25, two wisplike Ethiopians with wide smiles and a fiercely close bond who may be the most formidable female track stars in the world. In the late-afternoon light high above central Addis Ababa, we zigzag between the majestic eucalyptus trees, paying heed to the uneven ground below and staying alert for the not-uncommon hyena sighting—no problem, the sisters assure me, as long as you clap loudly and throw a rock in the animal’s direction.
The Dibabas’ dominance in the field of distance running has captivated the track-and-field community. “There are a few running families, but not like the Dibabas,” says the Ethiopian track legend Haile Gebrselassie. These are the only siblings in recorded history to hold concurrent world records, and they are as charmingly unassuming in person as they are fearsome on the track. The sisters were raised three hours south of here, in a tukul, or round mud hut, without electricity—their parents subsistence farmers growing teff, barley, and wheat. Their mother, Gutu, credits her daughters’ success to a loving environment as well as a steady supply of milk from the family cows.
In fact there are seven Dibaba siblings, and all of them run. “What the Dibabas have is what Serena and Venus have, except there are more of them,” says Ato Boldon, NBC’s track analyst. “It’s not a stretch to say they are the world’s fastest family.” Tirunesh is the most decorated, with three Olympic gold medals; Genzebe is tipped to win her first in Rio. Their older sister, Ejegayehu, 34, is an Olympian, too, with a silver from Athens, and their cousin Derartu Tulu was the first black African woman to win an Olympic gold, in the 1992 games. “World records, Olympic medals, world championships—the Dibabas’ accomplishments are unprecedented in this sport,” says Boldon.
With Rio on the horizon, the focus is squarely on Tirunesh and Genzebe. This is Tirunesh’s comeback season after taking a year off to raise her now one-year-old son, Nathan; meanwhile, Genzebe had a record-breaking summer, decimating the competition in August’s world championships and winning IAAF’s Athlete of the Year award, a crowning glory in the sport. “Last year Genzebe was head and shoulders the best athlete in the world,” says race coordinator Matt Turnbull, who has worked with the Dibabas for almost a decade. “And with Tiru being out for so long now, people are excited to see what will happen. They’re a fiercely competitive family, and they really dictate the landscape.”
Framed pictures fill the Dibaba family home in Addis Ababa.
As modest (and petite) as the Dibabas are face to face, they are outsize celebrities on the chaotic, construction-clogged streets of Addis Ababa, where they travel by car to avoid being mobbed. Their arrival at their favorite restaurant, Yod Abyssinia, is greeted with hushed whispers (“Dee-ba-ba, Dee-ba-ba”) and reverential stares. The sisters duck under the restaurant’s theatrical thatched straw canopies and take a table against the wall, smiling patiently as a young man approaches and asks for a photo. Afterward Tirunesh takes out her iPhone 6 Plus—one of the few in the country, bought in Europe—her cerise-lacquered nails clacking against the screen as she swipes past the photo of chubby Nathan. For a night out, she’s neatly coordinated in skinny red jeans, a black blazer with white piping, and similarly duo-toned wedge sandals. She admits that she loves to shop when she is competing abroad, particularly on Newbury Street in Boston and at any Michael Kors store. Genzebe, who prefers Zara, compensates for her timidity with a sweet attentiveness. Her feet look tiny in black ballerina slippers with grosgrain bows over the toe box. She has replaced her Garmin GPS training watch with a gold one whose pavé diamond–ringed face takes up the entire width of her narrow wrist. Both women have braids in their thick hair and giggle while confirming that they share a hairdresser. Their respect and affection are obvious: Genzebe lives with Tirunesh, sharing a bedroom with her baby nephew, and when she becomes flustered following a question about her love life, Tirunesh protectively steers the conversation elsewhere. (For the record, Genzebe has a boyfriend, but he is not a runner, and she doesn’t want to talk about him.)
''World records, Olympic medals, world championships—the Dibabas’ accomplishments are unprecedented in this sport'' NBC’S ATO BOLDON
When Tirunesh’s husband, fellow track-and-field Olympic medalist Sileshi Sihine, appears, cool and handsome in tailored jeans and a shawl collar cardigan, another frisson of excitement ripples through the room. His and Tirunesh’s 2008 wedding ceremony was a nationally televised event, drawing half a million people to the city’s main square, where Olympic races are broadcast to huge crowds. The bride wore a lace-embroidered bustier top and a millefeuille tulle ball skirt; the groom, an iridescent gray pin-striped morning suit—all purchased on a trip to Milan. They don’t remember the name of the clothier, “but one of the best,” Sihine says authoritatively. “We know people.” Restaurant patrons lock their eyes on us as Sihine slips onto the low wooden stool next to his wife, squeezing her knee in greeting.
As the string notes of the krar fill the room and dancers take the stage to perform an Ethiopian eskista dance—a shoulder-snapping feat of timing and rhythm—I ask Tirunesh what music she likes to listen to. “Michael Jackson,” she answers with a sly smile. “He is my favorite,” the last word pronounced in three crisp syllables. At this Genzebe, breaking her shell of shyness, speaks up: “For me, Beyoncé.”
Their status—and status symbols—marks a stark contrast between the Dibabas and most others in this still highly impoverished country. Yet Ethiopia has the fastest-growing economy in sub-Saharan Africa, and Addis, with its ubiquitous eucalyptus-pole scaffolding and ragged blue construction tarps, is a riot of development. Like many of the nation’s successful track stars, the Dibabas and their in-laws have invested their fortunes back into their city; they are burgeoning real estate tycoons, owning multiple buildings in the capital—including the five-star Tirunesh Hotel, slated to open this fall on Bole Road, the Fifth Avenue of Addis.
Genzebe, in red, with Tirunesh and her husband, Sileshi Sihine—also an Olympic runner—and their son, Nathan.
Along with Kenya, Ethiopia is a powerhouse for turning out elite runners. According to David Epstein, author of The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance, much of the two countries lies in an altitude “sweet spot”—around 6,000 to 9,000 feet. “High enough to cause physiological changes but not so high that the air is too thin for hard training,” Epstein says. As NBC’s Boldon explains, “When the Dibabas come down to sea level—I’m not going to say it’s like Superman coming from Krypton, but it is a version of that.” There’s also the Ethiopian diet, with its reliance on the iron- and calcium-rich grain teff, and the typical Ethiopian body type, petite and narrow, which is ideal for the sport: Tirunesh is five feet three and 110 pounds; Genzebe is five feet five and 115 pounds. “They have a lot of fight in a very small lightweight frame,” says Boldon.
“If you compared them to a car, they would be a Ford Focus with a Ferrari engine.”
Genzebe’s Ferrari engine is in top gear at Addis’s only track stadium for an 8:00 a.m. workout. The sun is already high overhead, and she is warming up with her nineteen-year-old sister Anna. They move at a focused, steady clip, their legs in sync, so that from across the track they look like one person, Anna’s smaller frame blending into Genzebe’s. As they speed up, moving seamlessly into sprints on the straightaways, Genzebe’s strides are precise, a strict economy of energy and movement. The two finish the warm-up and plop down on the tartan track to shimmy out of their Nike leggings, casual in their cotton underwear as they pull on micro shorts, the pink swoosh on Genzebe’s matching her fuchsia Dri-Fit T-shirt.
The ensuing workout is a series of 20 400-meter sprints, timed by a national team coach, who jots down intervals in red ballpoint on his palm. Genzebe shaves off seconds with each rep, her muscles taut as bowstrings as she catapults herself across the finish line. Afterward it’s back to Tirunesh and Sihine’s impressive home, a two-story stuccoed mansion in one of Addis’s gated communities. Inside, framed photos of family members on victory podiums take pride of place, and a flat-screen TV plays yesterday’s Africa Cup soccer match, but Tirunesh explains that she doesn’t particularly like watching sports. She and her sisters prefer Amharic films. What American films does she like? “Anything with Angelina Jolie.” A large breakfast—traditional Ethiopian firfir and eggs—is followed by a nap, lunch, and then it’s off to the gym. They are on two workouts a day until Rio.
The air in Entoto, unlike the exhaust-choked streets of Addis, is crisp and clean—and also thin at 10,000 feet above sea level. When we gather for our late-afternoon run, the Dibabas’ cousin Tulu arrives on the mountaintop, now retired and looking more soccer mom than Olympian. The sisters cite her as their inspiration, and her lilting voice boomerangs through the trees as they jog together into a cattle clearing. Tulu, who won the New York City marathon in 2009 at the age of 37, is a gregarious and outgoing foil to the soft-spoken Dibabas. When asked whom she will cheer for if Tirunesh and Genzebe compete against each other in Rio in the 5,000 or 10,000, Tulu does not hesitate and squeezes Tirunesh’s shoulder. “She! She is my favorite!” then looks lovingly across at Genzebe: “I am sorry!” Genzebe remains diplomatic, saying only, “The strongest will win,” while Tirunesh explains that they likely won’t be in the same heat and then looks into the sun, which is dipping behind the crest of the mountain. “But we come to win, so. . . . ” She shrugs; the end of the sentence is unnecessary.
There’s an intimacy up here as we jog among the dappled eucalyptus, the Ethiopians slowing their pace to a relative shuffle while I wheeze from the effort and altitude. “We are always together,” says Tirunesh. “Maybe one day a week we aren’t together.” For all of their bashfulness, the sisters share a mischievous humor that they sometimes let loose on interlopers like myself. At the end of our run in Entoto, Tirunesh, jogging behind me, yells, “Hyena!” with authoritative urgency. I shriek, whipping my head around. When I look back at the girls, they are doubled over laughing, the only animal in sight a weary pack mule trudging slowly across the horizon.
In September 2015, Arsenal Football Club became the first Premier League club to secure a regional partnership in Ethiopia after announcing Dashen Brewery as its Official Beer Partner.
Through this partnership, Dashen Brewery and Arsenal are committed to developing grassroots football and supporting community based initiatives in Ethiopia.
Arsenal Soccer Schools coaches travelled to Ethiopia this week to conduct a two-day training programme with thirty of the top Ethiopian Premier League coaches. Neil Harvey and Patrick Gavagham led the sessions which focused on ensuring that the key principles of ‘playing the Arsenal way’ are shared. Through a series of classroom and practical sessions, Neil and Patrick shared the club’s holistic approach to coaching which touches on four key areas: psychological, physical, social and technical/tactical.
Neil Harvey, Arsenal Soccer Schools coach said: “It has been great to work so closely with some of Ethiopia’s top Premier League coaches and share Arsenal’s coaching philosophy with them. This two day programme will hopefully help provide the coaches with key skills that can be applied to both grassroots and elite level football here in Ethiopia.
Devlin Hainsworth, Dashen Chief Executive Officer said: ”This two day session was a real success. It’s very exciting, just two months into the partnership with Arsenal, to have coaches from the club actively participating in a session in Ethiopia. This is the first of many training programmes to come and we hope to build on this going forward to develop the grassroots football structure in Ethiopia."
USA’s Ashton Eaton and Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba were named the male and female IAAF World Athletes of the Year for 2015 on Thursday (26).
Both athletes set world records during 2015, Eaton in the decathlon and Dibaba in the 1500m, and won gold medals in these events at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015.
Ashton Eaton became the first decathlete to win the male World Athlete of the Year award after his spectacular performance in the Chinese capital, his only decathlon of the year, when he set a world record of 9045 and improved his own three-year-old mark by nine points. Notable among his individual events in Beijing was a 45.00 400m at the end of the first day, the fastest one lap of the track ever run within a decathlon.
“Athletes spend the most vigorous years of human life, arguably called the ‘best years’, working to hone their abilities. So, when an athlete competes, what people are witnessing is the manifestation of what a human being is capable of when they choose to direct all of their time and effort towards something.
“I’m grateful and thankful to the IAAF for excellent competitions, the canvases that allow us to display our work.
"While I’m honoured that I am considered the ‘artist’ of the year, I did not beat Usain and Christian; my work simply differed in design. They are some of the most talented and beautiful performers of all time. I’m flattered to be among them.
"I accept this award on behalf of all of us athletes who love what we do.”
Genzebe Dibaba, after setting a world indoor 5000m record of 14:18.86, was then unbeaten in her five 1500m races during the summer. Firstly, she ran an African record of 3:54.11 in Barcelona, the fastest time in the world for almost 12 years, and then topped that with a stunning world record of 3:50.07 in Monaco to beat a mark that had been on the books since 1993. In Beijing, Dibaba was majestic through all three rounds of the 1500m, winning every race comfortably, and she also took a 5000m bronze medal.
“I am humbled and honoured to receive this award from the IAAF," said Dibaba. "It feels so good to be the World Athlete of the Year.
“After being a finalist and narrowly missing out on this award one year ago, I am very proud to be recognised by the fans and experts of our sport.
“I had a great season and truly enjoyed competing around the world, from Monaco where I managed to establish a world record, to Beijing where I finally captured my first world outdoor title.
“I would like to pay tribute to Dafne Schippers and Anita Wlodarczyk who have been incredible all year round. Maybe your time will come next year!
“Thank you to all the people who voted for me and supported me. My family, my sisters, my coaches, my partners, my agents and all the people from Ethiopia!
“My focus in 2016 will be the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland and as preparation for that I will try to break the world indoor mile record in Stockholm on 17 February.
“This is a difficult time for our sport and with the Athletes’ Commission we stand together with Sebastian Coe as he deals with the challenges.”
IAAF President Sebastian Coe commented: “While the athletics family is not gathering together as usual in Monaco, we rightly celebrate the marvellous 2015 achievements of the athletes. Foremost, I offer congratulations to our World Athletes of the Year, world champions Ashton Eaton and Genzebe Dibaba. Your performances in 2015 are an inspiration and examples of true sporting excellence.
“A world record when winning a world title is a rare feat and capped two unequalled days of decathlon brilliance from Ashton in Beijing. Genzebe, your win in Beijing was as assured and your 1500m world record a few weeks earlier a run of true grit and determination. We salute you both as we do all our award winners who have been announced today.
“Finally I wish to thank all the athletes, coaches, officials who work tirelessly for our wonderful sport. Our appreciation also goes to the media for relaying the excitement of competition and to the fans watching in stadiums, in homes and on the move around the world. Your enthusiastic support made the IAAF World Championships in Beijing the most talked about sports event of the year.”
How the award was decided
Last month the IAAF Family* was asked to vote for athletes from each of the following categories: sprints, hurdles, middle and long distance, road running, race walking, jumps, throws, combined events and multi-terrain.
The top-voted athletes in each category formed the longlist for the World Athlete of the Year, from which an international panel of 10 experts** selected the three finalists. The panel cast their own vote to determine the IAAF World Athletes of the Year.
Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah admitted taking drug Khat in Somalia
Drug banned by anti-doping authorities and illegal in UK since last year
Farah said he took the stimulant in August 2003 before it was prohibited
Revelation comes after Farah was forced to deny accusations of drug-taking after his coach was alleged to have violated anti-doping rules
Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah has admitted taking a drug that is banned by anti-doping authorities.
The long-distance runner, who won two gold medals at last month’s world championships, said he tried the class-C drug Khat while visiting Somalia.
Farah said he took the drug - a plant that acts as a stimulant when chewed - in August 2003, five months before the ingredients in the plant were prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
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Khat became a controlled class C drug in the UK in 2014 due to its increasing use across Britain, although it is not illegal in Somalia.
Possession of the drug can result in up to two years in prison and an unlimited fine, while dealers can be jailed for up to 14 years.
The revelation comes just months after Farah was forced to deny accusations of drug-taking after his coach Alberto Salazar was alleged to have violated anti-doping rules.
There is no suggestion Farah did anything wrong.
Describing his experience with the drug, Farah said: ‘I just wanted to test it. It’s a natural plant. It’s different. You chew it and it is like drinking ten cups of coffee.
‘You think a lot and plan a lot. Nothing happens really and you go home and you cant sleep. It’s crazy, everything is fine when you are doing it but the next day nothing happens.
‘It is like wasting time really. Nothing ever gets done.’
Farah took the drug in his native Somalia after the last race of the season in 2003 which meant he was not ‘in competition’ at the time.
He made the confession in an interview with Piers Morgan’s ITV series Life Stories.
A spokesman for Farah told the Daily Mirror: ‘In a recent interview, as well as in his 2013 autobiography, Mo talked openly about one occasion back in 2003 when he visited Somalia and tried Khat – a natural, traditional Somali stimulant that is used widely in that country and until June 2014 was on sale in the UK.’
A spokesman from the UK Anti-Doping agency added: ‘I can confirm that the WADA Code was first introduced in 2003, becoming effective in 1st January 2004
‘As a result there was no WADA Prohibited List at that time, so Khat was not deemed a prohibited substance in 2003.’
A spokesman for WADA confirmed cathine (over 5mg in urine) and cathinone - both found in Khat - are on their list of prohibitted substances.
Home Secretary Theresa May’s ban of Khat in 2014 won her many fans among females in the UK’s Somali communities who have suffered as a result of Khat use by Somali men.
The drug has been blamed for causing social problems such as unemployment, family breakdown and mental health issues.
Miss May had come under pressure from health workers demanding robust action, as well as governments in Europe, the US, Canada and Australia, where Khat was already banned.
Before the ban, the UK had become a hub for Khat smuggling.
Donald Trump, the US Republican Presidential aspirant has hit Kenya below the belt again, confirming his deep hate for Kenyans. This time around he has attacked team Kenya that won the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, saying they are cheap frauds, masquerades and conmen/women.
“Look at them, all of them, don’t you see frauds?” he asked.
Trump was speaking when he took his Presidential campaigns in Iowa where he met veterans and promised their well being when he becomes President.
According to MSNBC, Trump’s remarks did not augur well with a handful of people and they jeered him all the way. According to Trump, Kenyans including Obama are conmen who dope and cheat on their way to the top.
He reiterated categorically that it is the US that won and not Kenya.Trump congratulated the US athletes for winning the IAAF World Championships in Beijing although they were not officially pronounced winners.
The Kenyan athletes emerged tops overall, winning the jackpot of KSh 750 million ($ 7,194,000) in prize money for their exemplary performance.
However, Kenyans in America have expressed their dissatisfaction on Trump and vowed to do whatever it takes to paralyze his campaigns.
Two Kenyan runners have been suspended after testing positive for doping at the World Championships in Beijing, the International Association of Athletics Federations has announced.
Joyce Zakary, 29, and Koki Manunga, 21, have accepted provisional bans after "targeted tests" by the governing body.
The pair, who competed in the 400m and 400m hurdles, were tested at their team hotel on 20 and 21 August.
Zakary set a national record of 50.71 seconds in the 400m heats on Monday.
However, Zakary did not start in her scheduled semi-final on Tuesday.
Manunga finished sixth in her heat of the 400m hurdles after recording a time of 58.96.
"Athletics Kenya (AK) has already met with the IAAF and the athletes involved, and has begun investigating the situation which led to these results," said the national governing body. "Follow-up action will be taken in Kenya."
Thirteen Kenyan athletes are currently serving suspensions for doping offences.
Earlier this month, the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) announced it would begin an "urgent" investigation into allegations of widespread doping in athletics.
The Sunday Times published data from 5,000 athletes, which it says reveals an "extraordinary extent of cheating".
BBC athletics commentator Steve Cram said the suspensions of Manunga and Zakary are a "double-edged sword" for the sport.
"It is disappointing that people are still trying to cheat but it is great that we're catching them," said the 54-year-old former world, Commonwealth and European 1500m champion.
"It is not good for the Kenyan team because leading into these championships there were a lot of allegations in the situation around blood doping - and a lot of fingers pointed at Kenya."
The IAAF said that, according to rules, it is only able to make a public disclosure once the provisional suspension is in place, adding: "The IAAF will not discuss the details of the cases as they progress through the results management process."
….. Genzebe Dibaba is another athlete who feels capable of breaking a world record.
The Ethiopian has set numerous world records indoors, but now she wants to do the same outdoors. She came close to the 5000m mark in Paris, clocking 14:15.41. And after running an African record of 3:54.11 in Barcelona, she feels she can get closer to the world 1500m record of 3:50.46 on Friday in Monaco.
“Last week I ran 3:54 and it felt comfortable,” said the two-time world indoor champion. “Tomorrow I’m looking to run faster. I don’t know how much faster, but I’m going to go for it.
“I was very happy but I wasn’t surprised,” she added of her performance in Barcelona. “My coach knew that I was ready to run that fast.
“This year we’ve changed things and have done more intense training for the outdoor season. Now I think I can run faster outdoors than I previously thought I was capable of.
“I have totally changed my training. I already have natural speed which I don’t need to work on, so in training I’ve been working more on my endurance. I wanted to train more for the outdoor season than the indoor season.”
Dibaba is now undefeated this year and will head to the World Championships in Beijing as a gold medal favourite in whichever event she decides to contest. She may even double up.
“I haven’t yet made a final decision about whether to double up in Beijing,” she said. “I’ll speak to my coach after the race tomorrow and then we’ll decide what to do. If I had to pick one event, I would focus on the 5000m. My preparation has been geared more for that event, so physically and mentally I’m ready to run that event.”
It may have been just her second race at the distance, but Gelete Burka tackled the 10,000m in Hengelo as though she had been running it all of her life, winning the Ethiopian World Championships trial race in a world-leading 30:49.68.
Muktar Edris – who, like Burka, was tackling the 10,000m for just the second time in his career – won the men’s race in 2:27.18, booking his spot on Ethiopia’s team for the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015.
The lead pack in the women’s race was paced through 5000m in 15:33. Burka was one of nine Ethiopians in the group along with Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat, the world half-marathon record-holder. They passed through 7000m in 21:46, but Kiplagat dropped out soon after.
About one kilometre later, the lead pack had been reduced to seven athletes: Burka, world junior 5000m champion Alemitu Heroye, world 10,000m bronze medallist Belaynesh Oljira, 2010 Dubai Marathon champion Mamitu Daska, 2009 world 10,000m bronze medallist Wude Ayalew, world cross-country bronze medallist Netsanet Gudeta and Ethiopian cross-country champion Genet Yalew.
Wude tried to attack with three laps remaining, but all seven athletes were still close together at 9000m. In the end, Burka proved to have the better finish, kicking away from the rest of the field to win in a stadium record of 30:49.68.
The previous stadium record had been set by Liz McColgan, just two months before going on to win the world 10,000m title in 1991. Burka also improved on her own world-leading mark of 31:08.16 which she set on her debut at the distance in Stanford in April.
Burka last represented Ethiopia at a major championships in 2012, finishing fifth in the 5000m at the London 2012 Olympics. She has previously won global championship medals at 1500m, 3000m and at cross country. And now, at this year’s IAAF World Championships, she will represent her country at a distance in which she is undefeated.
In second, Heroye clocked 30:50.83 on her 10,000m debut, just one month after turning 20. She finished almost three seconds ahead of Oljira, who ran 30:53.69. In fourth, Daska was rewarded with a PB of 30:55.56.
Along with Kiplagat, 2009 world silver medallist Meselech Melkamu was among the non-finishers.
The men’s race played out in much the same way. Pace makers led the field through 3000m in 8:15 and half way in 13:43, after which the pace increased and they passed 7000m in 19:10.
Ibrahim Jeilan, the 2011 world 10,000m champion and reigning world silver medallist, then dropped out, leaving just nine men in the lead pack.
The leaders then went through 8000m in 21:56 and with two laps remaining there were seven men in contention: 2012 world junior 5000m champion Edris, 2011 world cross-country champion Imane Merga, RAK Half Marathon champion Mosinet Geremew, road-running specialist Adugna Tekele, African Championships fourth-place finisher Tebalu Zawude, Ethiopian cross-country champion Tamirat Tola and Rio Half Marathon winner Leul Gebresilase.
Showing the kind of kick that brought him to a world-leading 5000m time of 12:54.83 in 2014, Edris forged ahead to win in 27:17.18, smashing the PB of 28:44.95 he set as a 17-year-old when finishing fourth at the 2011 African Junior Championships.
Having represented Ethiopia in the 10,000m at the past three editions of the World Championships – and taking bronze in 2011 – Merga put himself in the frame for selection for Beijing by finishing second in 27:17.63.
Geremew, running his first ever 10,000m, was third in 27:18.86. Tekele (27:19.34) and Zawude (27:20.54) both smashed their PBs, while Tola, another 10,000m debutant, clocked 27:22.64 in sixth.
Along with Jeilan, Olympic bronze medallist Tariku Bekele failed to finish. It means two of Ethiopia’s reigning global medallists at the distance are unlikely to be selected for Beijing.